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ABC World News Sunday

News/Business. Dan Harris. The latest world and national news. New. (CC)

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00:30:00

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480

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Taliban 4, Afghanistan 4, Lunesta 3, U.s. 3, California 3, Mike Von Fremd 2, Jeremy Hubbard 2, Dan Harris 2, Abc 2, Astrazeneca 2, Abc News 2, Sarah Shourd 2, Christine O'donnell 2, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2, Heaven 2, America 2, Alaska 2, Jesus 2, Washington 2, Igor 2,
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  ABC    ABC World News Sunday    News/Business. Dan Harris. The  
   latest world and national news. New. (CC)  

    September 19, 2010
    5:30 - 6:00pm PDT  

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>> carolyn: thanks for joining us, see you in half an i'm dan harris. tonight on "world news" -- the monster storm taking aim at bermuda tonight. hurricane igor is so big it's creating dangerous rip currents from florida to cape cod. sunday prayers. the first family makes a rare visit to church. is there a political message here? lost and found. 13 members of a cultlike church trigger a frantic search when they disappear. was there reason to fear a suicide pact? the youngest victim, the taliban attacked voters in afghanistan and children pay the price. and lights out for the last american factory making one of this country's greatest inventions, the ordinary incandescent light bulb. good evening. the airport is closed.
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the windows are closed. the sandbags are filled. and tonight, the 60,000 people on bermuda are bracing for hurricane igor. it's heading right for tiny bermuda. so vulnerable out there in the middle of the atlantic. there have been stronger storms but what makes igor stand out. is its size. a huge pinwheel of fury that's expected to pound bermuda for hours. our david kerley is there tonight. >> reporter: the full strength of igor is just starting to reach bermuda. the center should pass by in just a couple of hours to our west. igor has been downgraded to a category 1. but residents are taking it very seriously. because they expect a near-direct hit. even the leading edge of igor is powerful. reaching out 100 miles from its center. igor may be a category 1 as it hits bermuda, it's a massive
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storm, it's a heavy storm. 14 hours of this relentless ravaging of the coastline. and this is why. igor is huge. and its strongest part, the northeast corner known as the dirty side is rolling right over the island. while it may be a category 1, it is a direct hit. >> rarely face the full fury of a storm of this magnitude. >> reporter: he issued a dire warning when the storm was stronger. even with the downgrading of the storm, it's not enough to calm the worries for those who ventured out to take a picture. >> you don't know what to expect. >> reporter: it's going to be here for a long time. what do you think? >> it's going to do some damage. >> reporter: shops and businesses on this 21-square-mile rocky island are boarded up and sandbagged. and hundreds of residents aren't taking any chances. checking into hotels to ride out the storm.
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>> the piano player. i just heard a martini being shaken in the background. >> reporter: it was seven years ago that four people died on bermuda. so far, no word of any fatalit fataliti fatalities. most people have hunkered down. we have a couple of hours of daylight left. because, already, most of bermuda is already without electricity. dan? >> david kerley in bermuda tonight. becareful. thank you. igor is being felt here in the country. kicking off what the national hurricane center calls life-threatening waves and rip currents, from florida up to cape cod. forecasters are also watching two storms, tropical storm julia is weakening east of bermuda. and a disturbance off the coast of africa, is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm. in the gulf of mexico, bp's blown-out well, is now officially no longer a threat. the government's point man in this crisis, retired coast guard admiral thad allen declared that the well is quote, effectively dead.
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con firnld that a cement plug will hold. now to politics. and today, religion seeping into the campaign discussion with president obama getting some attention for making a rare trip to church and some old comments about witchcraft surfacing from tea party phenomenon christine o'donnell. >> reporter: for any other president it's an unremarkable scene. to st. john's church. for president obama it's national news. he hasn't been to church in washington since easter. 1 in 5 americans think wrongly that he's muslim. the president's dismal polls numbers are also a problem for his fellow democrats. for republicans the problem isn't too little excitement. it's too much. that excitement is being generated by the tea party. which is knocking out established republican candidates and giving democrats a chance at races that many had written off. the latest example, delaware,
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where a little-known tea partier, christine o'donnell took down a republican goliath. mike castle. she was supposed to appear on two morning shows this morning. but she canceled. leaving her controversial statements repeating on an unanswered loop on the internet. some establishment republicans are waging open warfare. >> she can't simply ignore it. there have been serious questions have been raised about her background and previous action. >> reporter: later she did respond. telling a gop picnic, how many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school? another civil war is breaking out over alaska's senate seat. senator lisa murkowski lost the nomination to a tea party rival and is now a write-in candidate. >> you had the tea party express, this california-based group come in at the last minute in a campaign, run a mud-slinging smear. >> reporter: in a year where
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polls predicted massive losses for the party in power, they see new hope. we're going to turn to our senior washington editor rick kline, now that the primaries are over and we're into the general election, the question is, whether the tea party is good for the republican party or bad? >> dan, at this stage, it's not clear whether the tea party is going to wind up costing the republicans more seats than it helped delivered. they have delivered excitement. but they have wreaked havoc for the republicans in so many states. we have seven states where tea partiers have won nominations over the establishment cases. florida and now alaska, third-party bids to try to win these contests that can split the vote and end up costing the republicans something. >> let me ask you about president obama today, he's made
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clear time and again that he's a believing christian. i wonder though on the margins that it's possible there wasn't some political calculation to his decision to attend church so publicly today. >> the white house is very aware that people think wrongly that he's muslim today. so, whatever president's motivations are, clearly the white house would love anything -- as you said, at the margins would help influence perceptions around this. and bring people back on the truth. >> thank you. and now to that american hiker who was released after 14 months in an iranian prison. she returned home today to america after 14 months in an iranian. sarah shourd may be free. but she doesn't seem all that free to talk. two americans are still in iran tonight. once again tonight on this story, jim sciutto. >> reporter: on her first day home on american soil in more than a year, sarah shourd expressed happiness for her own freedom but sadness for her
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friends left behind. >> my disappointment in not being able to share this with josh and shane is crushing. >> reporter: her very first words were directed at iranian leaders thanking them for their release. but pleading that they were innocent of allegations that they entered the country illegally as spies. >> if we near the iran-iraq border, that border was entirely unmarked and indistinguishable. >> reporter: she exchanged emotional hugs with family members of her friends. you must have asked how they're doing. >> yes, well, you know, some of the things that i started to learn, how difficult it is emotionally and psychologically to not know their status. to be told that they're going to court and then not go to court. >> reporter: pressed on the hikers case by abc this weekend,
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iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad asked the u.s. to release eight iranians. >> are you saying you're holding the two americans as hostages for the release of iranians here? >> translator: no. but, how would you know that those iranians are criminals? are you a judge? >> reporter: some good news today, shourd was released for a cancer scare. she was examined today and she was declared in good health. >> she doesn't entirely comfort only the speak her mind. >> reporter: early on, she made a point of saying that her release should be reciprocated, recognized by the american government. on the other hand, she pleaded her case very passionately. i asked the mothers if they're
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going to be tough on mahmoud ahmadinejad and they said that they are going to speak directly. in afghanistan today, a top u.n. official said it was a miracle that elections were held in that country this weekend. he said that it's too early to call the voting success. 4,000 complaints of irregularities and fraud have to be checked out. millions of people voted in these parliamentary elections. turnout was much smaller during the presidential election. one reason for the low turnout, taliban attacks. at least 17 people were killed and children were not spared. mike boettcher in afghanistan was a witness to one attack. >> reporter: no one new his name his age or name. the taliban had mortared his village on election day and shrapnel had cut into his skull. in a spasm of violence meant to
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disrupt balloting, boy's wounds were less serious. he was in shock and also in need of immediate help. 80 miles away, general steve townsend listened as reports of insurgent attacks poured in. he set out to see for himself. in this village, only 60 people had voted. a taliban threat had scared them away, said one villager. >> there is a taliban present in this area. they will cut our fingers. >> reporter: another man, an elder has his own explanation. american-led forces killed too many civilians and people did not support this new government. townsend emphatically disagreed. >> 9 out of 10 civilian casualties were caused by the taliban. look at my eyes right now, and you know i'm telling the truth. >> reporter: a truth lived by two young boys and the american and the medics fighting to save
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them. mike boettcher, abc news, afghanistan. and coming up here on "world news" this sunday -- the frantic search for 13 members of a cultlike church, including eight children. they left notes saying they were off to see jesus and their dead relatives in heaven. he's one of the most popular self-help gurus there is. deepak chopra has a new novel about the prophet muhammad. why the last u.s. factory making a signature american invention is shutting down. ♪ [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't.
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there are some serious questions tonight for a woman who led 12 members of a cultlike religious group, including eight children, on a mysterious journey this weekend in california. she left behind letters that made relatives think that members of the group might have killed themselves in some sort of suicide pact. mike von fremd has that story from palmdale, california. >> reporter: 70 deputies some on horseback were searching over 700 miles of southern california. fearing that the group may have been planning to take their own lives, when they were found praying in a park, there was a joyous moment of relief. >> ladies and gentlemen, we just found them. yes, they're alive and well. and they are at a park here in the antelope valley.
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>> reporter: the leader left behind a purse containing letters saying that the group was going to meet jesus. the adults left personal belongings including deeds to homes and even cash. their relatives immediately reported the group missing. and warned police they that their loved ones may have been preparing to harmed themselves. >> they said good-bye to their living relatives. they indicated that they were going to the next life, if you will. and that's essentially, i'm not quoting exactly, that's essentially what they said. >> reporter: that immediately brought back fears of the cult near rancho santa fe, in 1997, when 39 people took their own lives. but today, california police were relieved to find all 13 members of this group praying in a public park. >> and they are alive and well. i was just given that update. that is the best news of the day. >> reporter: the adult members of the group insist they were
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never missing. and it was all a misunderstanding. >> we're okay. don't you see me? i'm okay. my son, the dogs, everybody's okay. i don't want to interrupt -- >> reporter: officials say that the group broke no laws. but the leader is undergoing psychological evaluation. members say they often pray early in the morning and intentionally leave their worldly possessions behind in hopes of one day they'll miraculously be taken to heaven. >> mike von fremd in california, tonight, thank you. and when we come back -- one of the world's most famous self-help gurus has a new novel about the prophet muhammad. desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. and for the majority of patients with prescription coverage for nexium, it can cost $30 or less per month.
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self-help guru deepak chopra is probably best known for books about the mind-body connection and the mysteries of the cosmos. this week he's got a new book coming out that plays right into the raging debate in this country, over islam. even the cover of the book simply entitled "muhammad" is making people nervous. because it's considered blasphemy to have a picture of the prophet. >> yes, we got a call from barnes & noble to say if we would reconsider the cover.
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>> reporter: they have good reasons for concerns. what's inside chopra's book could incite anger. he tells the story of muhammad, who becomes god's messengers and then spreads the faith not only through inspiration but also through warfare. what are your feelings about him? >> he strikes me as the most like us. we are full of contradictions. >> reporter: he writes that this messenger of god married a 6-year-old girl and then consummated the marriage when she was 9. some scholars disagree with that characterization. perhaps more volatile, he has publicly suggested that the holy koran might have been written by jews. one of characters in the book is a jewish scribe. assigned the task of following the prophet around. and writing down the things that he says. can you talk about it. >> it's one of few imagined characters in the book. >> reporter: did you mean to intimate that jews could have had a hand in writing the koran?
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>> i have wondered about that. it's natural to wonder about that. >> reporter: but it is provocative. >> yeah, i have been careful not to say it in my book. >> reporter: you as a nonbeliever, are you worried that people who are devout believers are going to be angry with you? >> i wrote the book after a lot of thought. i wrote the book with deep respect for my muslim friends. >> reporter: are you concerned that somebody could issue a -- could call for you to be assassinated? >> my family is concerned. my kids are concerned. if that happens, i'll deal with it. and also, if necessary, apologize to those who are on fended. because that was not the intention. >> as you heard, his intention was not to offend but to educate. coming up here on the
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broadcast -- the end of an era. why is the american light bulb fading to black. what i wanted to do. but five minutes ago, i took symbicort, and symbicort is already helping significantly improve my lung function. so, today, i've noticed a significant difference in my breathing. and i'm doing more of what i want to do. so we're clear -- it doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. my doctor said symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. my copd often meant i had to wait to do what i wanted to do. now i take symbicort, and it's significantly improves my lung function, starting within five minutes. symbicort has made a significant difference in my breathing. now more of my want-tos are can-dos. as your doctor about symbicort today. i got my first prescription free. call or go online to learn more.
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finally tonight, the end of an american icon. this week ge will produce its very last incandescent light bulb. the light bulb has become the universal symbol of a good idea. how do you top it? here's jeremy hubbard. >> reporter: the bright idea that illuminated the world is reaching a less than glowing end. this week, ge is shuttering this plant in winchester, virginia, its last u.s. factory producing plain-old incandescent light bulbs. new energy standards will all but ban the bulbs over the next four years. forcing millions to switch to compact fluorescents. most of which are made overseas. it seemed that the invepgs thomas edison perfected 130 years ago is flickering and fading. >> this is edison's private experimental room at the laboratory. he was working on ways improving
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the electrical lamp. >> reporter: he said that the great inventor would be torn about the change. >> on the one hand, he would have been disappointed. on the other hand, edison was always somebody who was looking forward. one thing that he was very interested in, was there more efficient ways to generate electricity? he would have seen that as the future. >> reporter: the incandescent bulb, notorious for getting by on a few hours of sleep, he wanted to transformed the world into a 24-hour culture by lighting up the night. >> the light bulb going off over your head, that's representing edison and his accomplishment. >> reporter: but it's inefficient. they use 75% less energy. and last ten times longer. even those could be soon obsolete. the future, l.e.d.
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they can last 20 years. and they don't need a standard fixture. imagine your entire wall as a light source. lighting from your coffee table or your floor, it is the mood lighting of tomorrow. and maybe one day with all of that technology, they can replicate the nostalgic warm glow of those old bulbs that we grew up. jeremy hubbard, abc news. that's "world news" for this sunday. i'm dan harris. diane sawyer is back here for tomorrow night. for all of us at abc news, thanks for watching and good night.
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>> alan: an east bay neighborhood evacuate after officers find pipe bombs and bombmaking material inside a home. good evening everyone. danville police were taking no chances today. >> carolyn: when officers discovered the pipe bombs, they got neighbors out of their homes and called in the bomb squad. >> reporter: the people who live in this danville neighborhood are back in their homes after several of them were told to leave for their own safety. the pipe bombs were found inside this home on amigo road. police were first alerted to the house after reports of a verbal disturbance. officers learned the argument was over one of the residents possessing several pipe bombs, eric dennis was in possession of

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